Deadlifts – By the Numbers – ONE

I coach the deadlift ‘by the numbers’ – every part of the movement has a distinct action and sequence.
The first action (can you hear your drill instructor on the first day of basic training screaming ‘<censored> ONE’?) is tightening the back and pulling the slack out of the bar. Katja demonstrates this clearly here in her pulls. As she starts her setup, you can see her entire back tighten up and flatten out.

She does this by pulling her shoulder blades downward powerfully. This does a couple things:
– It tightens the back, creating a rigid lever; this helps to transfer power from the legs directly to the bar
– It reduces spinal flexion, stabilizing the spine and reducing the risk of injuring the back
– It sets the shoulders in place, so once the lifter stands up the lift is done – there is no need to lean back or attempt to pull the shoulders back at the end

– It creates tension between the lifter and the bar, which builds a better muscle contraction at the start of the lift

Maintain this tightness and upward tension on the bar as your drill instructor screams ‘<censored> TWO’!
A strong, tight back translates to strong pulls!

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